With Serge Borenstein not only about Karlín

The activities of the Karlín Group have, since its establishment at the end of the 1990‘s,  focused mainly on the Prague district of the same name.

They have succeded to realize many extraordinary projects there and plan further construction in the coming years. Karlín Group also directs their development activities to other parts of Prague, especially in Modřany, Holešovice and Smíchov. The company takes pride in the maximum architectural level of all its projects. They are doing well, as can be seen from various prestigious awards – ‚Best of Realty‘ and ‚Building of the Year‘ – for the implementation of the Karlín Palace, Corso Karlín and Kotelna projects. The co-founder of Karlín Group, Serge Borenstein, answered our questions.

Karlín still has something to surprise with and something to offer. You and your partners are currently implementing three projects there. Can you tell us something about them? 

Certainly, the Karlín location is naturally a ‘heart’ issue for us, but other parts of Prague also have interesting sites that attract me. On the Rohanské Embankment, in the immediate vicinity of the Vltava River, we will complete the KAY River Lofts in the summer. The face and form were bestowed by Ivan Kroupa, who engraved the stream of the river into the minimalist shapes of the façade; the house has wonderful dynamics and a wonderful layout of apartments. The uniqueness of the place and the proximity of the river enhanced the attractiveness of the house and all 55 apartments have been sold before construction is completed.

You are known for bringing a number of foreign architects to the Czech Republic. KAY is rather an exception. What about the second project, which is being developed in the vibrant part of Karlín in Křižíkova Street?

Each project has its own specifics: It is influenced by the shape of the land and situating it within the location. I do not look at new building as an individual object. It has to fit into the location, complete its character and ideally enrich it with its function in the long run. That is why we always carefully consider the designs of both Czech and foreign architects. The Slovenian architect Vasa J. Perovič designed an elegant and timeless house in a gap site in Křižíkova Street, which actually comprises two houses with two different street facades facing Křižíkova Street. An amazing space with a park and views of Vítkov was then created in the courtyard. We enjoy working with architects from the Bevk Perovič studio. In Modřany, they designed one of two buildings from the Zahálka project for us.

DVA DOMY (TWO HOUSES) were given an apt name according to their visual identity. You talked about the function of the house. What role does this play? 

We always make sure that we maintain and develop the liveliness and diversity of Karlín and its character. The project of TWO HOUSES naturally also fulfills this idea. It is a multifunctional project, the concept of which naturally connects the commercial premises on the ground floor of the building with the main residential part on the upper floors. The residential units that are currently available come with layouts ranging from compact one bedroom apartments with kitchenette, which are ideal for young couples, through spacious two bedroom apartments with a kitchenette suitable for families to luxurious five bedroom apartments with a kitchenette spread over two floors. The choice within the individual categories is particularly wide, where those apartments with the designation two bedroom + kitchenette, for instance, offer a floor area from 65 sq m up to 155 sq m; one or two bathrooms, balcony, loggia or terrace.

Are all 112 apartments offered in the TWO HOUSES project for sale, or will you keep some of the apartmentss for rental?

TWO HOUSES represent our first project, in which the Church entered as an investment partner, in particular the Diocese of Hradec Králové. All apartments are intended for sale and we currently have over 50% of apartments sold.

At what stage of construction are TWO HOUSES currently?

Almost symbolically with the coming of spring, the project begins to shoot out from the ground, the vibration isolations have been completed and the construction of the 1st floor, where there will be interesting retail space, is currently in progress.

What else will you surprise us with next in Karlín and other localities? 

In Holešovice, we completed the Student House, which also won the Best of Realty award. In Modřany, we completed the first stage of the Zahálka residential project. And as for our home location of Karlín, we will start a new project in April, which will offer 48 apartments in Sokolovská Street and behind which is a young Czech-Slovak progressive studio ‘edit’!

Can you disclose the name of the new project? 

Definitely, now I can – Iconik. And we present its appearance on the front page of this issue of Development News!

PR / photo: karlín group

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